Tuesday, July 16, 2013

House tour - home office

Our home office has been a work in progress since we moved in.  Originally we had a small writing desk, which is now in our guest room.  It worked temporarily, but we knew that we needed to get something bigger.  

If you've recently shopped for furniture, you'll know that today's furniture is not nearly as well built as the furniture of the past.  I had been scouring Craigslist for solid wood desks, and even briefly considered buying a desk from Ballard Designs or Ikea to tide us over until we decided what would really work well for this room.  

As it turns out, our office is a difficult room to work with when it comes to arranging furniture.  We have French doors on one side of the room, windows on the second and a bench seat on the third.  The only solid wall is adjacent to the French doors, which made it difficult when it came time to arrange a functional office.  

Let's take a look, shall we?

Home office French doors - 6 panel tempered glass

Home office French doors.  Polished chrome schoolhouse light by World Imports.  Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter on the walls, Sherwin Williams Alabaster on the millwork.
It's no secret that I love hand me down pieces and family heirlooms.  When my aunt moved to Seattle from Arizona, she brought a slew of pieces that she and my uncle had collected during their life together.  This small chest was built by my uncle's uncle.  The detailing is incredible and it sits on 4 very old casters.  It fits perfectly in the small corner behind the French door, and reminds me of two of my favorite people.
Antique stamp chest

Antique stamp chest
Like I mentioned, I had been searching for a desk that would make the office a more functional space.  I came up dry when I looked on Craigslist, couldn't quite cough up the $1,300 for a zinc top Ballard Designs desk and didn't feel like an Ikea desk would pass the test of time.

Since my Dad has recently retired, we've been having all sorts of fun.  He mentioned that a local Seattle area auction company was auctioning off the remaining items in an import furniture store.  I had been looking for an outdoor teak patio table, and the auction listing showed that they had 6 tables up on auction.  When we arrived at the auction, my Dad brought my attention to a solid wood desk, sitting in the corner.  He mentioned that I might want to bid on it, as it looked like a solid piece.

We ended up waiting for about 4 hours so that I could bid on the desk.  I had called my husband prior to bidding to set a maximum price. We decided that $750 would be the maximum, given that we'd have to rent a U-Haul to get it home and we might need to touch it up or paint it entirely

The desk went up for bidding, and with my hands shaking, I raised #145 and placed a bid of $100.  If you've ever been to an auction, you know that the auctioneers talk fast.  Quite honestly, I think they're incomprehensible.  As I held my number up I said to myself "I don't even know what he's saying."  I focused intently on reading his lips and kept my fingers crossed.  In the end, I got this H. Krug solid wood desk for:


After getting it home and carrying it inside (for the record, it took 4 adults for it to carry it inside), we wiped out the drawers, vacuumed out the back recesses and put it together.  I e-mailed Krug to ask if they could give me any clues as to when the desk was built.  Based on the sticker on the bottom of the center drawer and the wood itself, the people at Krug thought that the desk was about 35 years old.  Krug started making casegoods in the 1970's, so we know it wasn't fabricated prior to the 1970's.  

$100 H. Krug auction desk - made of solid wood

H. Krug antique desk

H. Krug antique desk

H. Krug antique desk hardware
Standing in the doorway, looking into the home office
One of the things that we did to utilize space in the office was have our cabinet maker install built in filing cabinets with a bench seat, under the large window.  Eventually I'd like to make an upholstered cushion for the bench seat, although we're currently housing the printer on the bench seat.  Since the printer is wireless, we will likely move it into the basement.  
Built in filing cabinets and bench
Built in filing cabinets and bench
Looking into the foyer from the desk
The view from the office front window - looking on to the front porch

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